This week pastor Shaun will be preaching through the portion of the Lord’s prayer where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matt 6:9b).
I want to do something a bit different on our blog this week. I want to remind you of the purpose of this blog and give you a challenge. First, a few quick notes from this text that will build the foundation for what I am about to tell you.
God is Father
This was revolutionary in the time of Jesus. Jesus teaches his disciples to approach the God of the cosmos as Father. Think of the intimacy! The Father, through the Son made it possible for His people to approach Him as “Dearest Father.” This is like “daddy,” but with a more reverent touch. This should invoke in us this desire to draw near to God and be grateful for Jesus, our Mediator.
God is in Heaven
To ensure that the disciples did not over sentimentalize or abuse this new-found truth of approaching God as “Dearest Father,” Jesus reminds them of the majesty of God. We have a difficult time with balance. We tend to fall on either side of the ditch and we certainly could in this prayer. We would either strip God of all his holiness and dismiss any reverence we have for Him simply because Jesus instructs us to call Him Father, or we would fail to draw near to him because He seems so distant to us. So, Jesus knows we have a difficult time with balance and he gives the disciples and us what we need. He emphasizes God’s immanence with the words “Our Father” and He emphasizes God’s transcendence with the words “in heaven.” Jesus gives us the perfect balance if we only listen.
Hallowed Be Your Name
God is wholly-other, meaning that God is completely different than anything else. We need not forget this. Our temptation is to humanize God, casting our emotions and imperfections onto Him when we think and speak of Him. Pastor Shaun this week will teach us that God is separate. He will use a few Scriptures that I want to invite you to meditate on as we draw near to the Lord’s Day:
The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it.
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.
Now, the reason for this blog (and I will keep this brief). This isn’t to give you additional information. It is to prepare your hearts for the Lord’s Day. For some of you, the first time you think about the sermon or the worship music on Sunday is right before the service starts. There is no way for you to receive what God has for you if you aren’t engaging with the coming Lord’s Day prayerfully as you move through your week. Use this blog that is posted every Thursday as a means to set your mind and attention on worshiping corporately each coming Sunday. Here are a few practical suggestions for you as you seek to do that:
- Read the text we are preaching on each day.
- Pray through the text each week.
- Take advantage of the resources we post for you online.
- Get your family to bed at a decent hour on Saturday night so you’re awake and refreshed on Sunday.
- Get to the church service on time and spend time praying with your family beforehand.
- Sit toward the front so you’re not distracted by latecomers.
- Conclude your time at Coastal by thanking God for His Word.
May the Lord bless you as we approach Sunday.
Order of Service
As It Is In Heaven
Our God Reigns (Psalm 97; Hebrews 13:8)
Lord of All (Psalm 24:1)
Restoration (Revelation 21:1-5)
Sermon: Our Father by Pastor Shaun (Matthew 6:9)